Category: CRM

9 CRM Techniques That Improve Your Marketing Strategy

9 CRM Techniques That Improve Your Marketing Strategy

Why use customer relationship management or CRM for marketing?

According to SuperOffice, CRM has grown to be “the biggest software market in the world.” In the next six years (2025), it’s expected that revenue will shift upwards in the ballpark of $80 billion.

From email marketing to mobile CRM and everything in between, what’s clear is that CRM software is not going away anytime soon. If anything, it’s only going to become more pervasive, slipping into more and more everyday elements of marketing.

As the relationship between CRM and marketing strengthens, even more, you may look to implement the software in your marketing strategy for 2019. That’s certainly a wise choice. After all, as SuperOffice breaks down, CRM can help in many aspects of a marketer’s life. These include call center management, channel management, knowledge management, sales force automation, marketing automation, and improved customer service.

improved customer service

How CRM Helps in Customer Retention

Want to hold onto your customers? Of course you do! Well then, you need CRM software. With it, you can maintain or improve customer retention in the following ways:

  • By reviewing feedback and report data via the software, you can see which mistakes you made. Then you can plan on improvements for next time that will keep your customers coming back for more.
  • With CRM, you can personalize your interactions with customers in many ways.
  • If you’re interested in making your own loyalty program for holding onto long-term customers, look no further than CRM software.
  • You can also customize the offers you make using demographic and other segmented data. That increases the receptivity of these offers.
  • With CRM, you can view the customer journey from start to finish. You can then step in and make offers that relate to each step in that journey.

If your company is ready to start using CRM, then you don’t want to miss this article. In it, we’ll showcase nine exemplary CRM marketing techniques you can begin using today.

If your company is ready to start using CRM, then you don’t want to miss this article. In it, we’ll showcase eight exemplary CRM marketing techniques you can begin using today.

1. Tailored, Automated Email Marketing

We recently published an article on our blog about how CRM and email marketing intersect. Indeed, if you have CRM software, it’s incredibly easy to integrate it with your email marketing to create comprehensive and converting campaigns.

You can get alerts letting you know when your customers are opening your emails. It can go even more in-depth than that, as you can see which links customers are most receptive to. Those alerts let you plan the perfect follow-up at exactly the ideal time.

Not only that, but CRM can aid you in lead nurturing. This is due to the deep segmentation that CRM software is capable of, which we’ll discuss later in this article.

With customizable email templates that include interactive elements, you’re sending the kind of email content your customers actually want to open and read. Interactive content can be anything from little email mini-games to a simple video.

interactive emails

Then there’s automation so you can send mass tailored emails to all your audience segments. Finally, CRM and email can integrate to improve in your social media marketing…

2. Social CRM for More Meaningful Interactions

Social media and CRM are so buddy-buddy that there’s even a term for combining the two: social CRM.

What exactly is social CRM? It’s a modern way of reaching out to customers via social media channels like Twitter or Facebook. It can also include email, chat, text, and even phone communication, but social media is the star. Since it’s CRM software we’re talking about here, the marketer already has a detailed view into each customer. That allows communications to be more meaningful and effective.

There’s another element of social CRM that is equally as important as conversions and customer retention. It’s customer service. After all, to keep your customers happy, you want to answer their questions and meet their requests. Yet, according to data from call service company Yonyx, that happens far less often than it should. They found that more than half of companies (55 percent) did nothing with the social CRM customer feedback they received.

This is a wasted opportunity. Yonyx adds that a good chunk of customers (17 percent) seek social media for customer service purposes. Social media platforms can also guide purchasing decisions, said 20 percent of the respondents.

You can’t always expect that the interaction will be a positive one, at least not initially. Negativity is common, as a portion of customers (35 percent) who seek out your company will do so to complain. Still, if you can turn their complaints around, you could see more customers in the future. Yonyx notes that when customers have a good experience with a company, roughly 70 percent would tell their family and friends about it.

4. Cloud-Based CRM Gives Way to Mobile CRM and So Much More

To say that cloud-based data storage is growing is an understatement.

Statistica, a stats resource, found that 1.8 billion people across the world were on the cloud in 2017. Whether personal or work-related data, they entrusted their information to Internet-based servers.

Today, there’s what’s known as cloud-based CRM. This is when your CRM software is stored in the cloud.

What’s so convenient about cloud CRM? Everything! You and your staff, no matter how big or small, need only an Internet connection to track your CRM. Did we mention you can do this anytime from anywhere? There’s no need to be tied down to your office computer. Whether it’s a weekday night or a weekend, you can bring your CRM with you. All you need is a stable Internet connection to do so.

As you can imagine, this can be revolutionary for businesses looking for more detailed customer insights. New leads are always entering your pipeline, after all, and the job of parsing through and segmenting them never seems to end. Cloud CRM makes it so no potential customers slip through the cracks.

Not only that, but you can use your cloud CRM to keep customer contact information up-to-date, send emails at virtually anytime, and quickly contact your sales and marketing teams.

According to another article on SuperOffice, this year, companies will shell out $127 billion on cloud CRM and other services. Back in 2014, companies were only willing to spend $56.6 billion. This shows you how much the cloud has grown in four very short years.

4. Mobile CRM Marketing Continues to Grow

Without cloud CRM, we’d never have mobile CRM. After all, with cloud-based CRM, we marketers can use our CRM marketing software of choice anywhere, anytime. That includes on any tech as well, such as smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

Like the cloud gives us the freedom to target our customers and reach our sales goals around the clock, so too does mobile CRM. With a secure app, we can take our customer insights and marketing campaigns with us anywhere, and all in our pocket, too.

According to Innoppl Technologies, it’s possible to meet more sales goals with mobile CRM. Of those sales reps they surveyed, 65 percent of them said they were surpassing quotas with the use of mobile CRM. The rest of the respondents, 22 percent, were not using mobile CRM yet still achieved their sales quotas…the hard way. Why make marketing harder than it has to be?

companies with mobile crm5. Deep Segmentation and Personalization for that Perfectly-Tailored Approach

As we mentioned in our article about email marketing and CRM, with the software, you can segment your audience more specifically than ever before. The powerful insights you can gain into your leads and customers give you the power to watch your leads go through the customer journey until they come out on the other side as loyal customers.

CRM software helps you guide your leads through every step of that journey. You can send emails and other content during the awareness stage, engage and nurture with them, and then gently push them towards product or service purchases.

There’s one great way to ensure your lead will successfully complete the customer journey. It’s personalization. Here’s an awesome CRM marketing strategy example about personalization from HubSpot. Kyle Jepsen, the company’s Academy Sales Professor, had reached out to a video company called Vidyard.

What followed was a 51-second extremely personalized video.

personalized video

In the above screengrab, you can see that the speaker, Cole, had written Kyle’s name on a whiteboard. That’s not much, you’re probably saying. According to HubSpot, though, Cole mentioned certain topics he had spoken about with Kyle as well as the names of some colleagues.

Now that’s personalization.

6. Retain Customers at All Levels of the Journey

As a marketer, you’re not only interested in bringing in new leads, but also keeping the customers you already do have. There are several ways you can do that with CRM software.

The first of these is within the software itself. Whether you use cloud-based CRM, mobile CRM, or another solution, you know that all your customer data is easily accessible through the software. Instead of digging through databases and contacts lists, it’s all there for you to parse through anytime you need to.

You can update customer information and even cut unresponsive dead-ends if need be. You can also choose to re-engage with these former customers through specialized email marketing. If the re-engagement campaign fails, then so be it. With a combo of CRM and automation, it’s possible to reach out to former customers without putting a lot of manhours into it.

Personalization is another useful way to retain customers. We just talked about personalization, and it’s come up many times on this blog, too.

Finally, you can track the interactions your customer has from start to finish. As mentioned, CRM gives you a bird’s eye view into a lot of important metrics. Who is opening your emails? Who is clicking links, and which links? Who’s making purchases and how often? By knowing this, you can determine who your most loyal customers are and who may be eligible for a re-engagement campaign.

7. Search Marketing and CRM Go Hand-in-Hand

Another of our recommended CRM marketing techniques is using it alongside search marketing. Search marketing, as you surely know, is a means of marketing to improve your search engine standing. You can pay for search engine marketing if you must, but CRM software is useful even if you don’t.

How? You already have detailed information and insights into your customers, including their demographics, interests, pain points, and purchasing behavior. Now you just have to take that information and use it in search marketing.

For instance, you can use the demographic data you have to tailor your ads. Your advertisements can also be geolocated, so if a customer recently went to one of your bricks and mortar stores, they’ll get ads for their area.

Depending on customer behavior, you can also target specific ads and emails to various customer segments. Perhaps you want to re-engage with abandoned cart users. If someone reached out to customer service, they’d see a different message. You’d have yet a third running campaign for longtime customers.

The potential for the intersection of search marketing and CRM is nearly endless. While it’s always important to respect the privacy of your leads and customers, if they gave you information, you can use it to market to them.

8. Predictive Analyses Provide Accurate Insights and Points of Improvement

Finally, the predictive analyses capabilities of CRM are one of its most valuable assets. We marketers always wish we could look into a crystal ball and predict the future. That’s why we make trends list and predictions for the year ahead.

How accurate those trends and predictions will be is always up for debate. If you want more accurate predictions that are actionable as well, turn to your CRM software. Its predictive analyses use real-world data gathered from your leads and customers. It can predict areas in which you need to improve and those in which you excel.

Combined with the detailed analytics your CRM software can provide you and you should have a more comprehensive picture of your marketing campaigns than ever before. That allows you to reap future successes and appeal to your customers in a way that suits them best.

9. Use CRM Contact Fields for More Personalization

Although we’ve discussed personalization several times in this article, you can never have too many methods for making your emails more intimate. One such CRM method you can use is known as CRM contact fields. As this list shows, you can choose a field based on all sorts of criteria. This includes:

  • How often the customer uses or buys a product
  • Their location
  • Their job department
  • Their clothing size
  • Their spouse’s name and their wedding anniversary
  • Their birthday

If you have this information, then you might as well play up to it and use it to its fullest in your marketing efforts. The level of personalization you can achieve thanks to CRM is essentially unparalleled.

Conclusion

CRM software is on the rise, and its ascent is not slowing down a bit. More and more marketers and businesspeople are learning of the value of this software. By gaining invaluable insights into your customer base, you can convert leads and retain loyal customers.

The CRM marketing techniques we shared in this article should help you meet your goals. With the end of the year upon us, now is the perfect time to begin planning ways you can succeed in 2019. With CRM, automation, social media, email marketing, and more, that success can be right around the corner.

The post 9 CRM Techniques That Improve Your Marketing Strategy appeared first on EngageBay – All-in-one marketing and sales software for growing businesses.

10 Ways CRM Can Help Create Better Email Campaigns

10 Ways CRM Can Help Create Better Email Campaigns

Customer relationship management or CRM software provides insights into your customers that let you market to them effectively. You can also use this software to strengthen the preexisting relationship with said customers.

It’s no surprise that CRM often intersects with other areas of marketing. For instance, there are CRM email campaigns. If you’re not already using CRM, you could be missing out. According to sales automation software brand Nutshell, for each dollar you put forth towards CRM, you could earn $8.71 back for your efforts. Email can also make you more money.

Not only that, but sales benefit, too. The accuracy of sales forecasts can go up (42 percent), as can sales productivity (34 percent) and sales in general (29 percent). Having CRM data at your fingertips can even reduce the length of your company’s average sales cycle. Nutshell says that cycle can be cut by eight percent and sometimes as much as 14 percent!

If you’re interested in CRM email marketing automation or CRM email management, we recommend you read this article. We’ll outline 10 ways CRM can aide you in creating your best email campaigns yet.

  1. More Effective Segmenting

Segmenting your audience is a crucial part of any marketing campaign. This is how you handpick which members of your audience would be most receptive to what you’re selling. CRM email campaigns should begin with detailed segmentation for best results.

The days of having to manually sort your leads and customers into various buckets is over. Whether you use automation, CRM, or a combination of the two, segmenting your audience just became easier.

Not only is segmentation simpler today, but it’s possible to hyper-segment your audience. With more demographic info filtering in through your CRM software, you can split your audience based on their location, their buying history, their age or gender, or even their personal interests.

According to CRM provider SuperOffice, hyper-segmentation in your email list can help your company in many ways. Take a look at their chart below.

email list segmentation

Of those they surveyed who used email list segmentation through CRM, open rates increased for 39 percent of them. Revenue was also up for 24 percent of respondents, as was sales leads and deliverability. Transactions increased by 18 percent, and customer acquisition by 15 percent.

Those numbers are not shabby at all. Your company can see similar results, and it all starts with using CRM to segment your audience.

  1. Third-Party Software Integration

CRM software plays nicely with many other tools you might already use. There’s our CRM at EngageBay, email marketing through GetResponse or MailChimp, and Zapier, a favorite automation tool among marketers.

Being able to have all your favorite software available at your fingertips from one centralized platform is incredibly convenient for you. There’s time saved since you don’t have to log in from one software to another. That allows you to get more done, be that CRM email campaigns or other marketing work.

If your CRM doesn’t integrate with the third-party tools you want it to, don’t despair. You can always use the developer API included with many CRMs to make your own integrations your way. Some CRM software companies call this feature extension and others add-ons, but it’s all referring to the same thing.

  1. Email Personalization

We’ve shared the stats in several articles about the benefits of email personalization, so we won’t do that again. What we will say is that personalizing your emails is a necessity in today’s marketing landscape.

CRM lets you do basic personalization, such as adding your customer’s name in the email subject line as well as the opening line of the email. You can also take your personalization so much further.

With the segmentation and data you’ve gathered on your customer base using CRM, you can target emails to their exact interests.

You can break it down simply if you want. Let’s say you’re a clothing retailer. You can send your female audience email offers for women’s clothing and your male audience email offers for men’s clothing. If you wanted to get more specific, you could. Knowing what you do about some of your female audience, those who live in Florida may be more interested in your tank tops, shorts, and sleeveless dresses. For those customers in colder parts of the country, you can advertise your outerwear and sweaters.

You could also use a customer’s past shopping behavior to shape future emails. If you have a male customer who bought a suit from you before, then when you get new suits in, you might email them about this. If you have another male customer who purchased your shoes, you wouldn’t send them an email with suits. It’d be more shoes instead.

This chart from Super Office is a good reminder of why it pays to personalize your emails.

benefits of personalized media

  1. Alerts for More Useful Follow-ups

When you send out emails to leads and customers, how do you know when these messages are opened and read? How do you know when or if a customer clicks a link and which one they’re clicking? You don’t unless you somehow have x-ray vision.

CRM can give you the kind of x-ray vision you seek. With alerts that are sent to you via the software in real time, you never have to miss an important moment on your customer’s journey. When the customer receives your email and opens it, you’d get an alert. If they click on links, you’d get receive an alert.

These alerts can be used for more than just opening and clicking through emails. If a customer checks out a video you provided in your email, you have the power to know about it.

The art of the follow-up email is just that, an art. It’s as much about timing as it is about content. If you can send your follow-ups at precisely the right time—after an email gets opened or that video gets seen—and the messages are personalized to customer behavior, it’s like hitting a home run.

While your customers may not always be receptive to this type of follow-up, most will be. That could boost your open rates, click-through rates, conversions, and even ROI.

  1. Improved Lead Nurturing

Everyone wants more nurtured leads, but that starts with having a steady flow of leads in which to nurture. According to Venture Harbour, a marketing resource, lead gen is still a struggle. In a 2017 report, they shared this interesting chart lifted from HubSpot.

top marketing challenges

In it, 65 percent of marketers reported that lead gen and traffic gen were their biggest issues. This was followed by boosting ROI, which 43 percent of respondents had trouble with.

If you’re in the camp where you too struggle with lead gen, CRM and email marketing can be very useful. Having more information about your leads allows you to figure out what matters most to them. Are they a freelancer that needs more opportunities? A businessperson just starting out who needs more knowledge? These people are all members of your audience but they don’t have the same problems. You wouldn’t want to send a small business resource list to a freelancer. It wouldn’t help them much.

By using CRM software and identifying what your leads’ biggest pain points are and then presenting your product/service as a solution, you can start the lead nurturing process. Part of nurturing is also presenting engaging content, follow-up emails, and other targeted messages.

CRM opens the door for you to write engaging email campaigns. Through automation, you can ensure your messages go out at the right time, boosting their chances of being positively received.

  1. Customizable Email Templates

Litmus Software, Inc., an email marketing tools company, shared some stats on email design in 2018. When surveyed the year prior, 44.1 percent of marketers believed that interactive email experiences would be the biggest design element of the year.

top email design trends

Indeed, we’ve talked many a time on this blog about the importance of interactive emails. Shopify resource Oberlo writes that it’s possible to see a 300-percent boost in click-through rates by putting videos in your emails alone.

interactive emails

Videos are just one interactive element. You can add little mini-games:

pick a flavour

Tappable elements:

all inboxes

Or scratch-offs:

hello black friday

CRM can help you create the interactive emails of your dreams using customized templates. Even though you’re adding more complicated design elements, CRM makes it so you can drag, drop, and place everything the way you want it. You don’t even have to have the complicated coding knowledge to make emails that convert.

  1. Social Media Integration

Social media and email, although not always used together, can pair up beautifully. Take a look at this image case study Neil Patel shared.

case study

In the case study, Sony decided to integrate Pinterest in their emails about their upcoming VAIO. When they added Pinterest buttons to their messages, they had higher click-through rates (18 percent), open rates (70 percent), and email revenue (172 percent).

CRM makes it so you can replicate the same results with your own email campaign. There’s no reason to stop at Pinterest, either. You can let your customers tweet juicy quotes to Twitter or share on Facebook. If you add videos to your emails, you can use a dedicated YouTube channel to embed these videos.

  1. Email Automation

Another topic we talk about frequently on this blog is email automation. By pre-writing your subject lines and email bodies, you can set up an automation process that sends out your messages at specific times. This gives you the freedom to step away from the computer and enjoy your life.

You also don’t have to be awake at the crack of dawn or until late into the night ensuring your emails go out at the right time. Email automation is a blessing a busy marketer’s life.

When it comes to your CRM email campaigns, automation can also play a key role. We mentioned before about how a good follow-up email is almost as much about timing as it is about content. You never have to worry about an ill-timed email when you have CRM and automation working on your side.

When the customer performs a trigger, be that abandon their cart or click your pricing page, you can automate a follow-up. Some CRM software even lets you customize these triggers to fit your audience base better.

Instead of solely automating email, you can also automate other important duties to save time. These include call management, contacts management, marketing outreach, sales progression, and other workflows.

  1. Mass Email-Sending

Another benefit of using CRM for your email campaigns is you can now deploy huge amounts of emails at one time. Of course, we’re not just talking about one email to everyone on your contacts list.

You already hyper-segmented your audience, so everyone is getting something a little different. You might send internal emails to your marketing and sales teams or write about new promotions to your loyal customers. You could attempt to reach out to unresponsive former customers, re-engage abandoned cart customers, and convert leads.

From sales emails to newsletters and new product announcements to discounts, all these emails can go out at the same time with CRM bulk email-sending.

  1. Detailed Analytics

If you’re using CRM to help deploy your email campaigns, then you might as well continue using it to track the success of those campaigns. The analytics provided by CRM software are often visual. You can review charts and graphs that help you grasp what you did correctly and what you can improve on more for next time.

Also, CRM analytics are known for their huge data storage capacities. Even if you have a major campaign or several campaigns going at once, your software can handle it. From web analytics (including social media) to event monitoring, profitability analyses, and third-party data reviews, CRM analytics paint a comprehensive picture. You even get predictive modeling that can identify what your company should focus on in the future. That can reduce financial risks.

Conclusion

CRM email campaigns are well-informed, highly targeted, predicted, and planned for. Through both CRM and automation, it’s possible to segment your audience, schedule emails, and do mass blasts to your audience buckets. You can also integrate third-party software, social media, and customized alerts for effective follow-up emails.

Finally, CRM is known for detailed analytics, which are both historical and predictive. Most analytics are highly visual as well.

We hope that after reading this article you’re inclined to add CRM software to your own email marketing campaigns!

 

The post 10 Ways CRM Can Help Create Better Email Campaigns appeared first on EngageBay – All-in-one marketing and sales software for growing businesses.

What Is Social CRM and How Can It Help Your B2B Efforts

What Is Social CRM and How Can It Help Your B2B Efforts

Today, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Very few of us can go more than a few hours without checking our Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook feeds. Your customers probably fall into the same camp. By using social customer relationship management or CRM, you can harness the power of social media for your small business.

If you’re not too familiar with social CRM, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover the concept in depth. We’ll even share our best social CRM case studies for you to review and replicate for your business.

What Is Social CRM?

Before we can explain why your company needs this form of CRM, we should begin with a social CRM definition.

Social CRM is a branch of customer relationship management software. While you may still use traditional CRM, you also mix in social media metrics gained from platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The following image illustrates how social CRM or SCRM has evolved from traditional CRM.

Image courtesy of GetCRM.com

As the graphic shows, CRM often only uses assigned departments while SCRM doesn’t limit its audience base as much. While traditional CRM might have a more defined set of rules that the company comes up with, SCRM relies on its customers for those same rules. Customers even choose the hours, so there’s no predefined nine-to-five here. It’s all about what the customer wants and needs most with SCRM.

CRM relies on more defined channels, but SCRM does not. Instead of always pushing customers to buy, buy, buy, SCRM software and marketing aims for more interaction and communication from the audience. Many view this as an “outside in” process rather than one that’s “inside out,” as traditional CRM is.

The Components of Social CRM

As you begin using a social media CRM software or at least researching one to use, you’ll come across several unique components of SCRM.

Let’s talk more about these components now.

Sentiment Analysis

When you express a sentiment in a conversation, it’s either positive or negative. Having sentiments is part of the human condition, as it allows us to share our thoughts and emotions with others. SCRM encompasses the entirety of the customer experience, including a person’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

How does a company even begin to figure out their customers’ sentiments? You could comb through all the posts, survey responses, comments, and reviews you’ve ever received on social media, but you’re just one person. You also don’t have all the time in the world.

SCRM software can show its mettle with sentiment analysis. Using SCRM, you can indeed do the above combing without having to put much human effort towards the job. With sentiment analysis, SCRM software will look through documents, phrases, and words that come up from your customers. If these phrases or words have polarizing connotations, that gets noted as well.

Sentiment analysis is like holding up a magical seashell to your ear to hear the collective voice of your customers. Like most software, it’s not perfect. Sometimes the software can miss irony, metaphors, sarcasm, and nuances that we humans understand. That’s why you’ll have to glance over the results for accuracy. Still, that beats spending hours reading through comment after comment after comment yourself.

Machine Learning

Machine learning might sound scary, but we have to face that it’s our present and even our future. One popular means of machine learning? Artificial intelligence or AI. The algorithms that machine learning studies can predict future trends using current data.

There are two types of machine learning: unsupervised and supervised. Unsupervised machine learning isn’t as risky as it seems, we promise. With this, you’re letting the AI come up with its own trends and analyses without having established a previous data baseline. With supervised machine learning, you use certain data to create that baseline. Both forms of machine learning have their place depending on your current needs.

Text Mining

Text analytics, text data mining, or—more simply—text mining has a similar concept to sentiment analysis. This time, you parse data for the sake of finding mood patterns over the short-term and long-term. It’s less about establishing a customer voice then and more about identifying mood changes.

Do your customers still like your new product or has something happened to sour their perception? Have once-reluctant customers come around and changed their minds? With text mining, you can find out.

Natural Language Processing

Finally, there’s natural language processing. This may sound just like sentiment analysis and text analytics, but it’s different. For instance, natural language processing focuses more on adjectives, verbs, nouns, and other speech. The AI here can read through lots of text at once and even has higher accuracy if the text comes across as random. That’s not nearly as true for sentiment analysis.

Natural language processing works for social media especially well. Why? As mentioned, this form of SCRM has a strong ability to handle and comprehend random text. In fact, the AI can even take into account word omissions, misspellings, and unfamiliar text, all of which are common on social media.

When combined with text mining and sentiment analysis, you can get the feel, voice, and meaning of customer messages on social media using SCRM.

Why Do Businesses Need Social CRM?

If you’re already using a CRM software for your business, then you’ll want to consider CRM social media integration.

Still, perhaps the above information hasn’t quite convinced you that SCRM would work for you. Well, here’s some questions for you. Do you want to track your brand mentions? Followers? Engagement? Traffic? Sure, you do. Otherwise, you have no idea how well your marketing campaigns perform. These metrics give you real data you can use to compare your current campaigns to ones from the past. You can also plan for greater success in the future.

You can use SCRM to introduce relevant products and services that might interest your customers as well. That can influence a sale you might not otherwise have gotten. SCRM also comes in handy for social media advertising. If you want to share only the most tailored content on your social feeds for more engagement, guess what you need? Yup, social CRM.

Also, SCRM can improve your social customer support. According to a late 2017 article on Tech Wire Asia, most companies (80 percent) feel pretty confident in their current social customer service. It’s a shame that most customers disagree, with just eight percent saying they felt the same way. Ouch.

Take a look at this while you’re at it.

branding benefits

Image courtesy of Tech Wire Asia

According to the above graphic, boosting your social customer service can help your company in many ways. You could get more positive recommendations if you answer customers promptly and help them with their issue. You might also boost brand loyalty and customer advocacy. Sounds good to us!

The Benefits of Social CRM

If the above stats and figures didn’t quite convince you entirely yet, then this section should. Social CRM has tons of benefits for your company to reap, a few of which we touched on before. Here’s several more to incentivize you.

Nurture and Improve Relationships

In a way, SCRM kind of lets you become “friends” or “followers” with your audience members. The insights you can glean tell you all sorts of useful information about them. If your audience members buy a house, get married, have a baby, get a new job, or enjoy some other milestone, you will usually catch wind of it. In a non-creepy way, you can use this information to improve your professional relationships and provide further nurturing to your customers.

Review the Competition

It’s always a good idea to have a leg up on the competition. You can see what they’re doing and then plan your strategies and campaigns around that. SCRM gives you the window into your competition’s behavior and the reactions of their customers. Specifically, sentiment analysis works really well here.

You can then do one or two things. First, you can try to convert their customers to your company, although this can be risky. At the very least, you can make sure you avoid the same mistakes with your own customers. This way, you don’t lose a significant chunk of your audience.

Boost Your Development and Research

As we mentioned earlier in this article, SCRM has some predictive abilities. Although it’s more common at the beginning and end of the year, everyone appreciates a good list of trends for what’s ahead. If you can accurately predict changes and trends with customer relationships, you can become an authority in your industry.

Not only that, but you can react to these trends now to maintain more customers and even win new ones. You will also meet the needs of your customers better than ever before. This fosters an even stronger sense of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Improve Internal Workings

As we’ve talked about on this blog a few times before, if there’s a disconnect between your sales and marketing teams, and even your customer service reps, it’s never good for your bottom line. Two teams might do the same job without realizing it. They might work with the same lead or customer, who, at this point, just wants a break. All this wastes time and costs money.

The more efficiently your teams work together, the happier your customers stay. You can also enjoy more productivity around the office. It’s a win-win!

More Conversions

Let’s set up a scenario here. In Scenario A, you reach out to a lead via email after doing a bit of research on them. You still don’t know all there is about them, so you don’t write the most hyper-specific email. It’s a little generalized, which means few if any targeted offers.

In Scenario B, you’ve done your homework on your lead through SCRM software. You know more about their behavior, their demographics, and what they may or may not do. Now you send an email to them, using the info you have as sort of a cheat sheet. Everything’s personalized and very tailored to them and their interests and needs.

Which of the two emails do you think will get the better reception? Which lead do you think you have the better chance of converting? If you said B, you’re correct. Using SCRM gives you the kinds of insights you need to tailor your message and make more conversions.

Social CRM Examples

The following case studies prove the efficiency of SCRM. Give them a read and then think of ways to generate the same results for your company.

H&R Block Improves Sales with Its Get It Right Campaign

Social media CRM isn’t the newest thing in the world, having been around for the better part of this decade. In 2010, tax company H&R Block decided to use social media to host a campaign. Called Get It Right, the campaign strove to provide information on tax season through Q&As. The staff at H&R Block promised customers would get an answer in three days or less.

To get the word out about the campaign, H&R Block used SCRM in the form of Twitter and Facebook. In fact, customers could leave their questions on either of these social platforms.

During the campaign, site visitors and customers asked tons of questions, of which the tax company replied to over a million. For the 2010 year, they saw 15 percent more business. They also earned themselves 1,500,000 first-time site visitors.

The Green Bay Packers Foundation Uses SCRM for Charity

You might not think the Green Bay Packers have much use for SCRM. They are, after all, an incredibly well-known football team. That’s true, but their Green Bay Packers Foundation needed some help.

The charitable organization works with Feed the Children, Pop Warner Football, and the Special Olympics in Green Bay. For this particular effort, they wanted to auction off signed items, more than 4,000 in all. To push their philanthropic efforts, they built their Facebook presence up.

As of 2009, they had 14,682 Twitter followers and 221,843 Facebook followers. Okay, nothing super impressive, but this was 10 years ago, after all. Through their foundation, in Green Bay alone, they raised $248,000,000. With only 106,000 residents at the time, for each person there, that’s about $2,340.

San Francisco Dentist Attracts Clients with SCRM

Dr. Vaksman had just opened his dentistry firm back in 2010. Within the first five months, he thought he could have done better at boosting his clientele. He decided to turn to social media to get some assistance. By using a combination of YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, Dr. Vaksman saw a slew of clients coming in for dental cleanings and other services.

Conclusion

Social media CRM or SCRM is a means of using social media insights to improve your customer experience. While it relies on some elements of CRM, it’s also more intuitive and customer-centric. SCRM focuses on aspects like language, tone, and topics of discussion from your audience. The software combs through data for insights you can then use for more conversions, sales, and happier customers.

If you’re not already using SCRM for your business, we hope this article has convinced you to change that.

Here are the best blog posts of CRM you should read right now:

The post What Is Social CRM and How Can It Help Your B2B Efforts appeared first on EngageBay – All-in-one marketing and sales software for growing businesses.

How to Cross-Sell Using a CRM Software

How to Cross-Sell Using a CRM Software

When you make that initial sale to your customer, you don’t want to stop there. Instead, you want to encourage the customer to keep buying and buying. To that end, the products you offer after the initial sale matter very much. You need an appealing, related product that sparks interest in your audience.

In short, you need to cross-sell.

If you’ve never heard of this marketing concept before, then you’re not going to want to miss this article. In it, we’ll discuss all aspects of cross-selling, including CRM cross-selling, techniques, examples, and software. We’ll even explain how it’s different than upselling.

Let’s get started.

Cross-Selling vs. Upselling: What’s the Difference?

Before we dive into upsell vs. cross-sell, we should probably begin with a cross-selling definition. This way, there’s no confusion.

When you engage in cross-selling techniques with your customers, here’s what you do. You take the initial product you sold the customer and offer up something that’s within the same vein. You can even try selling add-ons.

Let’s use the wildly popular gaming console the Nintendo Switch as an example. It has a ton of peripherals and accessories you can buy that take your gaming experience to the next level. However, these don’t come with the console.

Image courtesy of Amazon

Okay, so you just sold the customer a Nintendo Switch with two Joy Cons or controllers. That’s the standard package. Next, you’d try to sell the customer something related to their purchase. Sure, you could cross-sell games, but why stop there? Just look at all the other accessories available for the Switch. You could try cross-selling them controller parts for the Joy Cons, racket or steering wheel accessories, Joy Con chargers, a Switch carrying case, or even extra Joy Cons. Then they could play with all their friends or family members.

Since the customer already bought the Switch, they’ll probably need these other things eventually. You selling them to the customer now makes it very convenient for them to buy.

Okay, so that’s cross-selling in a nutshell. What about upselling? How can you identify upsell opportunities? When you upsell, you try to get the customer to upgrade their purchase. Maybe you double the order or the customer gets a bigger quantity. This upgrade comes doesn’t come free, of course.

By those two definitions alone, then, you can tell that cross-selling and upselling are different things. Both can earn you more sales, though, so they have that much in common.

cross-sell vs upsell

Image courtesy of Instapage

Here’s the classic example. With cross-selling, after a customer buys a burger, you offer them fries and a drink. That’s because fries go with cheeseburgers like peanut butter and jelly. When you upsell, you take their order of fries and offer to upgrade it. Now, instead of getting a small, they get a large or even an extra-large.

In the case of the Nintendo Switch, instead of just buying the console, with upselling, you’d offer the customer a bundle.

super mario gaming console

Image courtesy of Best Buy

This bundle includes the Switch, but you also get a carrying case and the game Super Mario Odyssey. The Joy Cons come with the bundle, too. You get more than you would with cross-selling, but you spend more money.

Cross-Selling Benefits

Both cross-selling and upselling can help you grow your small business. How? Good question! Here are some benefits of cross-selling that might interest you.

Boosting Your Customer Lifetime Value

A Customer Lifetime Value or CLV is a neat little term that defines how much money you can make from your customer throughout their time with you.

Customer Lifetime Value

Image courtesy of ChartMogul

The above image shows a CLV of $150 per customer for a service-based business. If you multiply that times 100 or 1,000 people, now the money starts coming in. If you’re a products-based company instead of a service company, then your CLV can increase even higher than $150 each. There’s no limit to how much the customer will buy from you or how many times.

Better Customer Satisfaction

Everyone wants happy customers, right? Of course. By offering them related products you know they’ll like, it shows the customer you bothered to do your homework. You performed your market research, segmented your audience, and studied the demographical information for each segment. You may have even created buyer personas. No matter how you did it, you know your customer pretty well.

By selling them products they want but didn’t even know they wanted, they’ll be happier to do business with you.

Retained Customers

Happy customers tend to stick around longer. If you keep hitting it out of the park with your product recommendations, then you should drive more customer loyalty to your brand of products. That keeps the customer buying again and again.

More Sales

The above points all lead to more sales for your company. It’s a win-win!

Are There Any Cons to Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling, like any marketing technique, isn’t perfect. You can’t blindly apply it and expect to get results. It won’t work like that. If you didn’t already spend the time segmenting and learning about your customers, then cross-selling will fail you.

Let’s just entertain the idea for a moment of you selling your customer any old thing you have in stock. They bought the Nintendo Switch and you recommend them an iPhone. This doesn’t make much sense. The only thing the Switch and the iPhone have in common is they’re both tech. That’s it.

Considering your customer just spent several hundred dollars on a Switch, do you really think they’ll want to shell out close to a thousand more on an iPhone? Probably not. Your recommendation rubs them the wrong way. Not only do you lose a sale, then, but you could lose the customer in the process.

You also have to figure out how to handle potentially sensitive issues with aplomb. For example, let’s say you sell a range of fitness equipment. Your customer buys a yoga mat. You then decide to cross-sell them with a book on how to lose weight.

This can backfire in several ways, especially if you don’t know a lot about the customer you’re selling to. They could already be in phenomenal shape and not need to lose weight. In that case, you’d probably confuse or anger them with your offer. Some people could feel offended by an offer of that nature. You could lose them, too.

That’s why, no matter what, you always have to know your audience inside and out. Not only do you have to determine if the customer has a need for a product, but also if they already own the product. Otherwise, you’ll run into the pitfalls we mentioned above.

Examples of Cross-Selling

While we already shared a great cross-selling example with the Nintendo Switch, that’s just one of many. Here’s some more examples you can recreate for your small business.

ritzcamara cross-sell

Image courtesy of Comm100

We’ll begin with a pretty simple but effective example. If the customer buys a Nikon camera, RitzCamera.com will cross-sell them with a camera filter or tripod. As you can see, Ritz Camera offers the cross-sell before the customer ever buys the camera.

This can be both good and bad. For example, that’s not a cheap tripod. It costs more than $200. The customer could have thought, “okay, I’m already spending $500 on a camera. I can’t afford the tripod.” Thus, cross-sell fails. You need to carefully choose when to present your cross-sell, as we’ll soon talk about.

cross sell example

Image courtesy of Baymard Institute

Here’s a more traditional example of cross-selling. The customer already made their purchase. Now, in their confirmation email, Newegg wants to sell the customer some other popular products. While these aren’t inexpensive by any means, they’re related to the cord the customer just ordered. Thus, the customer might decide to buy them. Maybe not right away, but at some point down the line.

place des tendances

Image courtesy of ePages

It’s so easy to cross-sell with clothing. Have you ever browsed around on a clothing site, wondered where the model got their pants or shirt or shoes, but then haven’t found those clothing items?

This store does things differently. Yes, the shopper’s looking at a shirt, but what if they like the whole outfit? The cross-sell offers them links to buy the pants and a necklace. How handy!

proflowers cross selling example

Image courtesy of OptiMonk

Our last example also comes from an industry that can make a lot of money with cross-selling: flower sellers. Think about it. You just bought some flowers, but where will your recipient keep them? Do they already own a vase? Maybe, but you’re not sure.

That’s part of why we like this cross-sell so much. It’s brilliant in its own way. By offering several vases at low price points, the customer will probably buy one. It will add to the presentation of the flowers, after all.

Also, if you look at the above image, you’ll notice there’s an upsell at play here, too. The customer can pay to get twice the roses. That’s a great upsell example if we’ve ever seen one.

Steps for Cross-Selling to Customers Using a CRM Software

Now that you’ve learned so much about cross-selling, you think you’re ready to implement this sales method for your small business. How do you begin?

Use CRM Software if You’re Not Already Doing So

To cross-sell with CRM software, you kind of need CRM software. We’ve written a lot about CRM on this blog, so check out those posts to familiarize yourself.

While countless companies exist that offer CRM services, many do so at a premium fee. Here at EngageBay, we price our services for startups and small businesses like yours.

Take, for instance, our CRM software. If you’re already using our services, we offer our CRM for free. You can manage your sales pipeline, impending deals, and email contacts. Also, with EngageBay’s CRM software, you’ll find it so much easier to schedule appointments, manage tasks, visualize your pipeline, and do more targeted marketing.

Once you’ve settled on your cross-selling software, it’s time to use it.

Identify and Segment Your Audience

With your CRM software booted up, you turn to your contacts list. Now you have to segment your audience so they’ll be more receptive to your cross-selling offers. You might use methods like segmentation by demographics, like age, gender, income, job title, or location. You could also do lead scoring. With this, you assign leads (or customers, it works the same way) points depending on what they do.

You can even create buyer personas and organize your customers like that. Some personas might give more pushback on cross-sells. Knowing who they are lets you come up with alternate tactics to make the sale.

CRM software can make all these means of segmentation much easier. Make sure you use it!

Track Your Customers’ Orders

Okay, now that you’ve segmented your audience, it’s time to track the orders that come in. It’s all about timing with cross-selling, much like with many other marketing techniques. If you wait too long to make a follow-up cross-sell offer, the customer probably won’t take advantage of it. They might not even remember what they bought from you in the first place.

You also don’t want to jump too soon, especially if the customer just bought something expensive. They may not want to spend so much money again right away.

Make the Offer

Strike when the iron’s hot and make your offer to your customer. Get your timing down so the customer has higher receptivity to your offer. Also, make sure you’re only trying to sell them something related to what they just bought.

If all goes well, the customer should take advantage of your cross-sell offer. Sometimes they don’t and it has nothing to do with you. The customer might not have the money to spend right now, so they’ll buy the product later.

Rinse, Wash, and Repeat

With your cross-sale offer made and over with, the customer either took the bait or they didn’t. If they did, then congrats! If not, then better luck next time.

For now, it’s back to the drawing board for you. It’s time to repeat these steps again and keep achieving great results for your small business. Make sure you track your successes with analytics and A/B testing.

Cross-Selling and Upselling Techniques to Follow

Need more advice for successful cross-selling and even upselling? Here’s a handful of techniques to try.

Use Retargeting

If your cross-selling efforts didn’t go as intended, don’t give up all hope yet. You can always employ retargeting methods, such as advertising online or across social media. Perhaps if the customer gets a second look at your offer, they’ll decide to buy.

Create an Incentive Program

An incentive program encourages even the most reluctant customers to try your product or service. If you’ve identified said customers via buyer personas, then you might want to have an incentive program in place anyway.

Market Through Email

As long as people use email, then email marketing probably won’t ever fall out of fashion. Reaching out to your customers via email, nurturing the relationship a bit, and then following up with a cross-sell or upsell could do the trick.

Use Discounts

Before, we mentioned that customers might turn down your cross-sell or upsell because they just bought a product from you for a lot of money. They may feel financially drained and don’t want to buy again. If that’s the case, then your company offering the customer a discount could finally encourage them to buy. Make sure you’re not losing too much money in the deal.

Show What Other People Bought

The herd mentality, sometimes also called pack mentality or mob mentality is a very real phenomenon. People will do what other people have done just because so many people do it. If you have a pop-up or section on your store that says other people have recently bought a product, then guess what? There’s a greater chance your customer will follow suit.

Create a Sense of Scarcity

If your customer doesn’t really buy into whole herd mentality thing, that’s okay. You can always play upon their fear of missing out or FOMO. By telling the customer how much more quantity of a given product you have, it drives them to act faster. They recognize that you don’t have an endless supply of the product. It’s scarce, which to them, makes it seem more valuable. Also, it’s disappearing fast. That encourages them to act right away.

Conclusion

Cross-selling is a sales technique where you offer a related product for the product the customer just bought. For example, if a customer buys a burger, you’d cross-sell them fries and a drink. It’s different from upselling. With this, you try to get the customer to buy something bigger or better. If the customer buys small fries, you’d try to get them to upgrade to a large order.

Both cross-selling and upselling have their place. Using CRM software can aide you in identifying and segmenting your audience and successfully deploy your campaign. You can then decide which products to cross-sell/upsell as well as when. Good luck!

The post How to Cross-Sell Using a CRM Software appeared first on EngageBay – All-in-one marketing and sales software for growing businesses.

Advancing M&A plans, SugarCRM buys marketing automation startup Salesfusion

Advancing M&A plans, SugarCRM buys marketing automation startup Salesfusion

Advancing M&A plans, SugarCRM buys marketing automation startup Salesfusion 1
SugarCRM Inc. today announced that it’s expanding its market reach with the acquisition of Salesfusion Inc., a marketing automation startup backed by more than $32 million in funding. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. It comes two months after SugarCRM picked up another startup, Singapore’s Collabspot Pte Ltd., that developed a tool for […]

The post Advancing M&A plans, SugarCRM buys marketing automation startup Salesfusion appeared first on SiliconANGLE.

Overcoming Silo Mentality in Business

Overcoming Silo Mentality in Business

The term “silo” comes from farmyards, where large containers are used to keep grain separate. When silo mentality develops in business, it encourages segregation within a company, which can prove to be a major stumbling block on the road to success.

When divisions arise within an organization, information and resources are not freely shared between sales, marketing, and customer service departments. Before you know it, the company begins to suffer.  In the modern digital landscape, there are big benefits to eliminating organizational silos, and also several different ways you can tackle the problem.

In this article, we’ll show you how to break down silos in business, so you can conquer silo mentality and help your employees establish a new mindset that breeds greater unity and cohesion throughout the workforce.

What Is a Silo Mentality?

When somebody has a “silo mentality”, they will be reluctant to share resources and information with the other departments in the company. This may arise due to internal competition with other teams or individuals.

As this internal focus grows within each department, it breeds an “us and them” mindset, which invariably has a negative impact on the culture and productivity of the company as a whole.

3 Early Signs of Silo Mentality in Business

Companies don’t intend to create a fragmented, divisive structure like this. However, silos can form over time as departments grow and specialize in their own core duties.

Research indicates as many as 40% of employees believe different departments in their company have a separate agenda, and just 29% claim reaching their customers is a truly collaborative process between all teams in the business.

Here are a few warning signs to watch out for:

1.     Broken Customer Experience

Without adequate communication, technology, and data, you’ll struggle to map the customer journey. This inevitably makes it much more difficult to convince prospects to become customers.

For example, if a returning customer receives emails that clearly cater to first-time customers, it’s an indication that silos exist between sales and marketing. This has a negative impact on the customer experience, and may even deter people from returning.

2.     Duplicated Work

It’s a major red flag if you discover several teams repeating each other’s tasks. When two teams both think it was their responsibility, it highlights an obvious lack of communication.

Redundant steps like this cost your business time and money and will leave teams feeling frustrated. It may even breed resentment as a blame game takes place.

3.     Groupthink

Ideally, great leadership will produce more leaders. In reality, the best efforts to inspire individuality and free thought usually end up producing more followers. This creates a tightly-knit group that values harmony above critical evaluation.

This leads to groupthink, where disagreement or challenges are discouraged, and individual group members simply follow the leader. When this happens, your team is left open to blind spots and may resist any outside input.

Overcoming Silo Mentality in Business 2

Image Credit: Business2Community

4 Benefits of Breaking Down Silos in Business

Research from Deloitte found that 94% of surveyed companies claim “agility and collaboration are critical” for success. Despite this, just 6% of companies believe they are “highly agile today”.

Silos in business are sometimes called agility killers.

Let’s take a look at how you can benefit from breaking down silos in business.

1.     It Encourages Collaboration

Silos form when people fall into the habit of only communicating with people in their respective departments. If sales and marketing teams don’t talk enough, both departments can feel the effects.

Using collaboration tools like a company intranet system can help everyone stay in touch, even across departments. This makes it easier for managers to get important feedback, and it facilitates a culture of shared information.

2.     It Reduces Duplicated Work

With this sharing culture, people will be more likely to communicate about minor details on tasks. This reduces the chance of tasks being repeated, which in turn, can save your company time, effort, and money.

Also, by eliminating these accidental double-ups, there is less chance of tension brewing between teams.

3.     It Improves Knowledge Retention

It’s good for your workforce to develop a broader understanding of the different aspects and areas involved in the business.

By creating knowledge management systems online, you can offer more information and resources to everyone in the workforce. That way, there’s more chance the right information will always be available at the right time. When this happens, people can make better-informed decisions.

Case in point:

The popular business communications platform Slack is an acronym for ‘Searchable Log of All Communications and Knowledge’. Since its 2014 launch, the company has become the fastest growing business app in history, now valued at more than $7 billion.

Sharing is caring – about your company’s growth and revenue.

4.     It Facilitates Continuous Productivity

When your team is working together, it will be more effective. The onus is on C-suite members and managers to encourage this open culture in the workforce, where everyone communicates with everyone else.

When this is in full flow, with the right software and tools to help, you will have a seamless, streamlined organization that is optimized for productivity.

Overcoming Silo Mentality in Business 3

Image Credit: Quandora

How to Conquer Silo Mentality in Your Business

So, how can you break down silos in business?

Here are six steps that will help you tackle silo mentality. Done right, these measures can transform your workplace culture so that is built for success in the modern age.

1.     Introduce Department Ambassadors

A leadership study by Red Badger found that just 13% of companies encouraged teams to sit together while working on the same project.

In efforts to break silos, some businesses have decided to sit teams together. Another idea is to send a department representative to another team for a short period. These reps can gather valuable insights and bring them back to their own team.

As time goes on, this strategy can help your company create closer ties between teams, and may even lead to innovative new solutions that boost productivity.

2.     Eliminate Office Politics

One of the main reasons silos occur is because departments can feel a little threatened by each other. Office politics become ingrained, and people rail against collaboration with other teams. The SEO team may hide details from the copywriters, as they worry they could marginalize their role, or even steal jobs.

Great digital leaders will step up to put an end to negative office politics. By using data, you can determine issues based on metrics, and hard numbers. This will make it easier to find employees who are not only willing to co-operate but are also more effective at hitting goals.

Overcoming Silo Mentality in Business 4

Image Credit: Pexels

3.     Nurture a Unified Vision

It’s quite common for your sales, marketing, and customer service teams to set goals that will benefit their respective department, and at the same time, conflict with another team’s goals. Silo mentality starts at the management level. Therefore, it’s up to department managers to co-operate and find ways of countering this problem.

By creating a unified vision that the entire workforce understands, the various teams in the company can build their objectives with that vision in mind. This will build greater trust between teams, and help everyone adopt a big-picture view of goals, rather than only focusing on their own department.

4.     Make the Office More Open

The traditional office is one that grouped companies by department with teams literally sectioned off from each other through cubicle clusters, walls, and different floors in the building. This sets a tone that makes silos inevitable.

By comparison, the modern-day startup will have a more casual culture, with open floors, and several areas that make cross-department connections easy.

If you want to break down silos in business, you should consider how you can restructure your office to make sharing, communication, and collaboration easier.

5.     Use Collaboration Tools

As the freelance revolution continues to grow, more companies are hiring remote workers. Some of these people will rarely if ever, be in the same office as each other. They may never meet in person.

With digital collaboration tools, you can unite remote teams, and foster smooth communications and workflows, even when your employees are scattered around the globe. For example, try introducing the following:

  • Project management platforms – preferably one with a chat and commenting features, like Asana or ClickUp.
  • Shared documents – Google Docs and Google Sheets enable up to 100 people to collaborate on a live document at the same time.
  • Data management tools – These can collate data from other platforms in regards to key metrics and business objectives, so all teams are kept up-to-date with what actions and events in other teams.

By using collaborative tools that encourage regular information sharing and communication, all teams can work together, even if they are in different rooms, buildings, or countries.

6.     Bring All Teams Together

With regular joint meetings and focus groups, all employees will have the chance to mingle with those from other teams. You can also run company events outside of working hours, such as a fun monthly excursion like bowling, hiking, or paintballing.

By giving different departments opportunities to interact and work together outside of work, you will soon improve co-operation in the workplace.

How EngageBay Can Help You Defeat Silo Mentality

In the digital age, nothing really stands still for long. Advancing technology and increasing competition have made agility a top priority in modern businesses.

And as you now know, silos are an agility killer.

Here are several good reasons to consider EngageBay as the cure for silo struggles:

1.     Improve Your Customer Relationships

With a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, you can use data-driven insights to guide your sales, marketing, and customer service teams. EngageBay has several innovative features that improve customer service, such as:

  • Ticketing – so everyone can track the status and actions in a customer issue.
  • Feedback forms – to help improve problems with the service.
  • Knowledge base – to provide customers with greater access to key information.

These features make it easier for every team to track the customer journey.

2.     Enhance Customer Experience

This is a customer-centric age. Companies are working harder to ensure they deliver on the needs and interests of their audiences. If your company isn’t working well internally, it will affect the customer experience.

With EngageBay, your company can build a stronger foundation of knowledge, communications, and co-operation between all teams. This allows you to present a united front and enables your sales, marketing, and customer service teams to be more effective.

Overcoming Silo Mentality in Business 5

Image Credit: EngageBay

3.     Cloud Services Give Everyone a Holistic View

EngageBay has a dashboard that keeps everyone updated with actions and events from around the workforce. Teams will be able to see how other departments are working towards the bigger business objectives of the company.

It doesn’t matter how big your organization is, or whether you have a lot of remote workers. The cloud service makes it easy for everyone to see the big picture. This makes it much easier to succeed in cross-channel marketing.

4.     You Can Create a Culture of Sharing and Communication

As EngageBay offers a host of tools for project management, data analysis, and marketing automation, your business can soon feel the benefits of breaking down silos. When everyone is on board, training together, and learning how to use this unified platform, your company will improve in many ways.

This all comes down to creating a new culture throughout the workforce. Ideally, it will be a culture that makes people keen to communicate and share information and resources from one department to the next.

5.     Zapier Integrations Improve Productivity

In addition to the many features of EngageBay, you can use Zapier integrations to use your favorite digital tools. There are 1,500 apps currently available for your business to use, including Google Docs, Asana, Gmail, HubSpot, and Mailchimp.

Overcoming Silo Mentality in Business 6

Image Credit: Pexels

Beat Silo Mentality from the Top-Down

To defeat silo mentality, you must remember the vital importance of nurturing a culture of sharing and communication, from the top-down. As an organization gets bigger, managers must remain vigilant, otherwise, it can be much harder to tackle the problem down the line.

When you take action to break silos in business, you make your company more agile, and more open to the great opportunities for innovation and collaboration in the digital age.

Get in touch with EngageBay today to take your business in the right direction.

 

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Can Your Small Business Survive Without CRM? Think Again!

Can Your Small Business Survive Without CRM? Think Again!

You’ve gotten your business off the ground and you’re actually doing quite well.

Congratulations are certainly in order, for this is no easy feat. You’ve tasted all this success and yet you haven’t even invested in customer relationship management software, also called CRM software.

Right now, you’re managing your customers the good, old-fashioned way. You communicate via phone and email and make notes on who needs following up. Sometimes you even use sticky notes.

Your sales and marketing teams sort of do their own things since they’re not exactly in alignment. If you need analytics, you can produce them yourself, drawing up a report written from scratch. It may take hours, sometimes days, but you get it done nonetheless.

If going without a CRM database has worked for you so far, that’s probably only because you haven’t experienced much growth within your company. Once you start building your customer base, keeping up with each and every customer without a digital system in place will drive you crazy. Your daily tasks will become impossible. You’ll either need to hire on several more staff members or accept that you need CRM for small business.

It’s better you do the latter.

Why Some Companies Think They Can Survive Without CRM

That said, sometimes misinformed companies do truly believe they can go without CRM. There are several reasons they may think like this. Let’s talk about these reasons in more depth now.

The Past Informs the Future

If something you’re doing in business works, then why would you stop doing it? It goes back to the old proverb of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Like we mentioned in the intro, foregoing small business CRM software may have served your company well until this point. You figure you can continue the hot streak at no detriment to your long-term success and bottom line.

That’s unfortunately rarely the case. With time, as a company grows, so too does its customer base. To accommodate more customers, you absolutely need small business CRM software.

Going without it can be troublesome in several ways. As we discussed, your company may hire extra staff to deal with these new customers. That’s more money that now goes towards payroll that a small business might not necessarily have to spare.

Doing most customer management work manually also increases the chances of your employees making mistakes. If a customer or potential customer falls through the cracks, they can be lost forever. That means less business for the company. This hurts the bottom line.

They Feel It’s a Waste of Money

As a small business owner, every last cent counts, right? Definitely. You don’t want to spend money unnecessarily. Combined with the point above, if a company’s current system is working, then it ain’t broke and there’s no need to fix it.

The bottom will drop out eventually, and your business will have to scramble to fix its errors. The money you spend to do so could be twice, sometimes thrice the cost of a CRM software subscription in the first place.

They Don’t Understand CRM or How to Use It

Perhaps an employee at your business has tried CRM software before. They had no idea what they were doing and thus deduced the software was useless. In reality, it’s more likely this person failed to take the time to properly learn their CRM.

CRM can have a bit of a learning curve, especially if you’ve never handled similar software before. If a small business owner or employee doesn’t know that, they could think it’s just too hard to use the software and thus skip over it entirely.

They Think It’s Redundant

Another reason your company might not use CRM has to do with redundancy. If you’ve already purchased several other pieces of software, you might think adding CRM is too much. Surely these other tools and software can fill in the gaps, right?

Wrong.

CRM software can create analytics based on the information you feed it, allow employees to share files, do email tracking, provide instant message access to employees, predict sales opportunities, take care of lead gen and lead management, and more.

If anything, a good CRM system can make other software redundant, not the other way around.

Their Expectations Are Especially Low

Let’s say in your small business, one key stakeholder used CRM and had a bad experience. Why would you think things would be different this time around? Other employees who aren’t acquainted with the software tend to believe the stakeholder. Before you know it, morale becomes especially low before the software even gets installed.

There’s a psychological concept known as the self-fulfilling prophecy. When you really, truly believe something will happen, good or bad, it usually does. We indirectly influence the result with our thoughts.

If your small business goes into things thinking CRM software won’t help, then it probably won’t.

10 Stats That Prove You Need a CRM System

Still, think you’re okay without a small business CRM system? We implore you to think again. The following 10 stats prove the effectiveness of this software and may just change your mind.

  1. CRM Will Only Become More Prevalent in the Years to Come

CRM won’t go away if you ignore it hard enough. In fact, it’s only going to become more prevalent. A 2017 Marketing Research Report from Grand View Research predicts that, once 2025 arrives, companies will have achieved significant revenue from CRM software (somewhere in the ballpark of $80 billion).

Image courtesy of SuperOffice

  1. Customer Retention Increases with the Software

2015 data from Capterra found that most companies using CRM software had better customer retention rates. Almost half of the respondents, 47 percent, said customers not only stuck around but were happier, too. Don’t you want the same for your business?

  1. Most Companies Use It

Think you’re far from alone by not using CRM? Data says otherwise. A report from 2015 discovered that most small businesses use CRM software. To be considered a small business, these companies have 11 employees or more. Of those businesses surveyed, 91 percent had a CRM system in place.

Is your company even smaller? Software use rates persist. Of those businesses with 10 employees or less, 50 percent used CRM.

  1. Companies Realize CRM’s Impact

In a year-end 2016 sales report, LinkedIn shared that most companies that use CRM believe it makes a big difference in their businesses. When asked to rate how impactful CRM can be, 64.2 percent of those surveyed called CRM software usage “impactful” and even “very impactful.”

  1. CRM Can Help in Many Areas of Business

In the years since CRM has come onto the scene, companies have accommodated for it by increasing their spending. Back in 2014, most companies (47 percent) said they’d boost their customer service software spending budget, says Software Advice.com.

Now, several years later in 2019, spending budgets have surely increased. This is because CRM software can aide employees in many areas, as this graph from SuperOffice illustrates:

SuperOffice illustrates

Image courtesy of SuperOffice

  1. It’s Part of Many a Five-Year Plan

What are your long-term goals for your company? Another Capterra report mentions how, as part of a five-year plan, most companies (65 percent) will add CRM software to their arsenal. Why not you?

start using crm

Image courtesy of Capterra

  1. Your Sales Team Can Largely Benefit

Everyone wants an efficient sales team for their company, but how do you go about getting one? Adding CRM software seems to help, says Nutshell. It’s possible to increase the accuracy of sales forecasting (42 percent), the productivity of your sales team (34 percent), and overall sales (29 percent) with this software. Sounds good to us!

  1. Cloud-Based CRM Grows in Leaps and Bounds

CRM software is nothing new, but cloud-based usage is. SuperOffice states that, back in 2008, cloud-based CRM usage hit just 12 percent. As of 2018, usage spiked to 87 percent.

cloud based crm

Image courtesy of SuperOffice

  1. Mobile CRM Use Skyrockets, Increases Sales

Not only do you need CRM software for the office, but it should have a mobile reach as well. When employees can access customer data and other relevant info on their smartphones and tablets, they can prioritize customer satisfaction around the clock.  

recent research

Image courtesy of Algoworks

The above piece of an infographic from software company Algoworks shows the importance of mobile CRM. Up to 65 percent of sales teams with access to mobile CRM have reached sales goals. Compare that to those who don’t use mobile CRM. Only 22 percent of salespeople could achieve those goals.

  1. CRM Software Accommodates for User Concerns

This piece of Capterra’s infographic shows the principle concerns of those thinking of buying CRM software.

important factors crm purchase

Image courtesy of Capterra

Most companies, 24 percent, care about the software’s functionality. Another good chunk, 20 percent, want software that’s easy to use.

Price was another big determining factor at 14 percent. Next, there’s company reputation (nine percent), support features (eight percent), implementation training (another eight percent), software popularity (six percent), and the recommendations and reviews of other users (six percent).

There’s no doubt that, for CRM software to sell, it must accommodate all these concerns. That means if you thought this software was too hard to use in the past, it’s worth trying again.

Tips for Choosing the Right CRM Software

We hope the above stats have convinced you that your small business needs a CRM system in place. Now comes the difficult part, choosing which one to use.

How do you find the best CRM for small business? Follow these tips.

Ensure the Software Has Small Business Capabilities

If your company has 11 or 15 employees, you don’t need a huge CRM system that can accommodate businesses with 30 or more people. Not only would one of these systems waste your time, but your money as well.

You want to make sure the software you choose works for small businesses like yours. As you browse vendors, pay special attention to information about their respective software. Look at reviews and testimonials as well. Are these customers from bigger, Fortune 500 companies or smaller ones like yours? Is it a mix? You can also just ask the vendor outright if their solution fits small businesses.

Get GDPR Compliant

About a year ago, the European Union introduced the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. You can read more about the topic on our blog here. While it mostly affects those in the EU, if you have clients or customers there, then you’re affected as well.

Most new CRM software has GDPR features built right in. These ensure your compliancy so you don’t get hit with a fine and accidentally ruin your company’s reputation. Features like bulk updates, subscription management, and consent management will help you prioritize your customer’s privacy and personal data the way they’d prefer.

Make Sure You Can Use It

If you can’t figure out your small business CRM software, you’re not likely to use it. You could discontinue your subscription after a year and go back to the old ways of doing things.

As we’ve said several times over, that just won’t work. You need software that’s usable, even if it requires a bit of training to figure it out (more on this shortly). By the way, when we say usable, we mean the whole thing. If you only understand certain features, then you’re not getting the full scope of your CRM software. That’s only hurting you and your business in the end.

Consider Pricing

Of course, we couldn’t talk about buying something new for your business without mentioning cost. Yes, CRM software can be expensive. It’s also a must-have for your business, so instead of thinking of creative ways to get around using CRM, plan on how you can afford it.

Request some quotes and then compare them. Some companies may charge you monthly and others annually, so keep that in mind. Budget where you have to. For instance, you could possibly discontinue use of some other software you have because CRM will replace it.

Accommodate for Implementation/Training

Once you buy a small business CRM system, you don’t want to be left on your own. Will the vendor help with setup and implementation? Some will and some won’t. That’s up to you to do your homework and choose an awesome CRM provider with great support services.

Do know that implementation can take a while depending on your office setup. Ideally, it’d be good to get you set up in a few hours, but sometimes it may take a day or longer. That’s time you’re losing. You also have to expect to lose time training your employees on how to use the software.

Both losses are essentially unavoidable. Don’t try to skimp on either process, as you’ll ultimately regret it.

Ask about User Maximums and Minimums

Admittedly, a user maximum probably isn’t much of an issue for small businesses like yours. Still, you want to ask about it anyway. User maximums restrict how many people can use the software. If your company has 50 employees, then a user max might come into play.

What you should concern yourself more with are user minimums. You have to have a certain amount of people in your office for some vendors to install small business CRM software. If you have at least 10 people on your payroll, then you should be in the clear. It never hurts to double-check before you part with your hard-earned money, though.

Take It for a Test Drive

You wouldn’t buy a car without driving it first, right? Just like you wouldn’t put down money on a house you haven’t seen in person.

Small business CRM software is a major investment. Okay, maybe it’s not on par with a new house or vehicle, but it’s a big deal nonetheless. If the vendor you’re thinking of working with offers a free trial, then by all means, take advantage of it!

These trials may last seven days. Some even extend for a whole month. During this time, try as many features of the software as you can, even those you might not use often.

This benefits you in two ways. First, you get a feel for the software and how easily you can navigate it. Also, you get to decide through firsthand experience if you want to work with this vendor or not.

Reviews and testimonials are very useful as well. Be sure to augment what you’ve read with real-time usage of the product via your free trial.

Conclusion

If you’re a company going without CRM software and succeeding, know that you will hit a wall sooner than later. Customers will fall through the cracks, sales numbers will slip, and your company will lose money.

Before it gets to that point, why not buy a CRM system for your small business? Revenue should increase,c as will customer satisfaction and retention. Also, at this point, you’re kind of in the minority if you go without this software.

By following the tips we presented above, you can find great CRM software to take your small business to the next level.

Here are the best blog posts of CRM you should read right now:

 

 

The post Can Your Small Business Survive Without CRM? Think Again! appeared first on EngageBay – All-in-one marketing and sales software for growing businesses.

8 Elements of Successful CRM Implementation

8 Elements of Successful CRM Implementation

The customer is KING and your relationship with them is important to drive your business growth, prosperity and success. As you grow, your customers grow as well. Hence, a well -designed CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is very important for any entrepreneur to manage things well. Data states that 91% of businesses with more than 11 employees use CRM software. A successful CRM implementation has various aspects to it which we will discuss in detail here.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy or a combination of practices, strategies, and technologies for managing the company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. It helps you improve your profitability. You can read about how an easy-to-use CRM system can be beneficial for small businesses.

Image Courtesy: https://www.slideshare.net/

Let us quickly take a look at the various elements of a CRM system.

Elements of A CRM Software

CRM Implementation

Earlier, CRM was mostly used to store customer data, but it has changed over the years. Now, CRM is an end-to-end software where storage is not the only thing it does. Contact Management (94%) still remains at the top as the purpose of a CRM system closely followed by lead nurturing (65%) and email marketing and sales forecasting at 59%.

Some of the major components of a CRM system are:

Human Resource Management: It is the effective management and usage of human resource and skills in different situations across the Organization. This is an important component for any organization as employees are their most crucial asset. It helps in adopting an effective people strategy and analyzing their skills to develop and implement strategies for growth and development.

Customer Service: This section collects customer information and data, their purchase patterns as well as shares relevant data with concerned departments. This helps them to take steps to develop their awareness and understanding of the customer needs as well as complaints.

SalesForce Automation: It is an essential component which includes forecasting, recording sales processing, and tracking potential interactions. It brings out the revenue generation opportunities and helps to analyze the sales forecasts and the performances by the workforce.

Lead Management: This is to keep a track of the sales leads and their distribution. This is widely used in sales industries, marketing firms and customer executive centers. This process encompasses everything from efficient management of campaigns to designing customized forms to finalizing the mailing lists and other things. It also studies the customer purchase patterns to determine potential sales leads.

Marketing: CRM assists in the marketing process by enhancing the effectiveness of the strategies used for marketing and promotion. There are various sub-elements like List Management, Campaign Management, Activity Management, Document Management, Call Management, Mass Emails, etc.

Workflow Automation: CRM helps to automate and streamline different processes and improve overall efficiency. It not only reduces the excess expenditure but also prevents the repetition of tasks. Reducing paperwork and redundancy is one of the major purposes of a CRM system.

Analytics: Analytics is analyzing and presenting collected data so that important learning can be derived and decisions made. Creating graphical representations of the data in the form of histograms, charts, figures and diagrams from the current data as well as past trends is very important. Analytics provides the necessary information for business growth and prosperity.

Reporting: A CRM system is responsible for providing different reports on the business. It should have the flexibility to create different types of reports which are accurate and precise. It helps in forecasting and the ability to export the business reports on other systems is a major requirement for any CRM system.

How a CRM Helps

According to statistics, 65% of sales reps who adopted mobile CRM have achieved their sales quotas, while only 22% of reps using non-mobile CRM have reached the same targets. CRM has manifold benefits, the foremost being in customer engagement, service and retention. It is known to improve customer retention by as much as 27%. We will briefly discuss some of the major advantages of a CRM system:

CRM Implementation

Better Organization: Information becomes more organized, manageable and readily available for different departments. This also helps to streamline processes and cater to customer service in a better way.

Improved Communication: Centralized data facilitates better communication. Be it an external customer or internal stakeholders, the information can be shared more smoothly and in a transparent way. This also leads to improves efficiency between multiple teams and gives them access to the right information at the right time.

Automation: CRM is a combination of various processes guided by technology and industry norms. It helps in data collection, dissipation, and analysis of information which can be further used for decision making and improvements. Automation of everyday tasks also helps to get rid of redundancy and increases efficiency.

Enhanced Customer Service: Since CRM  is a reliable repository of customer information, it is easy to pull out their data whenever they contact a company representative. Customer information, past sales data, purchase patterns, etc. – all these can help in better customer service and engagement and hence enhanced customer satisfaction.

Better Analytics: With various integrated tools and plugins, it becomes easy to analyze the data and present in a way that is helpful in making reports at various levels. The automatic reports, personalized dashboards, and other tools help to measure and improve performance and give detailed insights.

Here are some more important pointers which will surely motivate you for a CRM Implementation, if you still do not have one:

  • The average ROI for CRM is $8.71 for every dollar spent.
  • 47% of CRM users said that their CRM had a significant impact on customer retention and customer satisfaction.
  • 74% of businesses improve customer relationships with CRM.
  • 82% of top salespeople cite CRM tools as “critical” to their ability to close deals.

Critical Components of A CRM Implementation

CRM Implementation requires a complete assessment of your needs, budget, and ROI that you are expecting. And, most importantly, CRM Implementation needs support from everyone.

Much before CRM implementation, you need to address the following questions:

  • What are the goals or benefits you expect after CRM Implementation?
  • What resources will a CRM implementation involve?
  • What organizational changes you might plan for?

We will discuss some of the major factors which impact CRM Implementation for any Organization.

  1. Executive Support: A CRM system will only be effective if people in the Organization use it diligently. That is why executive support is very important. CRM is for everyone in the Organization with various degree of privileges. So, involvement is required at every level. Since the top management drives the opinions and culture in the Organization, their support definitely sends a positive ripple.
  2. Proper Planning: As mentioned earlier, a detailed plan needs to be formulated which reflects the Company values, mission, and vision. You must account for each and every aspect in the plan including a contingency plan. During the planning stage, you need to identify stakeholders and collect information about your exact requirements. Then, you need to create a prioritized list of initiatives and their corresponding actions to determine the implications and the project timeline.
  3. Technology Choices: The right technology is very important for any CRM Implementation. Evaluating your current status and assessing the compatibility of the new system are basic groundwork that needs to be done.
  4. Right CRM Implementation: Once you have chosen the CRM system that you want to opt for and the one which suits your business the best, the next step is the actual implementation. CRM Implementation involves a lot of changes so you can think about executing in phases so that you can manage one thing at a time and then integrate. Often migration from your current state to an automated one becomes tedious, but you need to plan ahead. A dedicated and specialized team can be pre-trained to handle things better. You can announce the launch with a bang so that everyone feels excited about it.
  5. Extensive Training: After CRM Implementation, the first thing is educating your workforce about it and training them to use it. It is not just to teach them how to use the system but also to urge them to set best practices. If you have opted for a specific vendor, you can organize for specialized training sessions for different levels. Both theoretical and practical aspects need to be explained through training. Ensure you assign a good project manager who can handle the end-to-end process. The sales reps need to understand the system thoroughly and get motivated to use it. Make sure there are proper training manuals which can help them later.
  6. Inter-Departmental Integration: From a strategic perspective, CRM implementation has an organization-wide influence. Different functions and departments need to be integrated and connected to support a smooth, streamlined flow of information. They need to accept the system such that everyone gets the right information.
  7. Customer Involvement: Direct and indirect Involvement of customers in CRM Implementation can strengthen the system. This will help the organization to ana­lyze the customer relationship life cycle and consequently find the areas of problems that can be managed by CRM.
  8. Setting guidelines and CRM strategy: Finally, you need to inculcate a CRM philosophy. The internal usage guidelines need to be laid down. People can be the main factor for both the success and failure of a CRM Implementation. A CRM system helps you to develop and maintain a strong relationship with customers. Basically, it helps you to build a customer-centered business model.

CRM ImplementationBest CRM systems of 2019

Some of the best CRM systems of 2019 are as follows:

CRM Implementation

When it comes to business management solutions, Zoho is one of the best. It includes everything from accounting tools to collaborative apps. It is one of the best Cloud CRM that you can opt for.

CRM Implementation

In terms of scalability, HubSpot can be your best option which can handle any increased influx of customer interactions.

CRM Implementation

When your sales department is handling customer interaction and you need to empower them, opt for a sales-oriented CRM system PipeDrive. CRM Implementation

If you want the best CRM for your small business and budget is not a constraint, SalesForce is the perfect choice for you.

CRM – The Road Ahead

By the end of 2018, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software revenues overtook database management systems to become the largest of all software markets. The revenue is expected to reach over $80 billion by 2025, which will definitely make CRM the fasted growing software markets.

CRM ImplementationWe will briefly discuss the 4 major trends of CRM that will be prominent in 2019.

  1. IoT in CRM for proactive customer service: Internet of Things (IoT) is the big thing that is taking over almost all the industries today. In 2008, only 12% of businesses used cloud-based CRM which has now increased to 87%. IoT in CRM will give it better capabilities in terms of organizations, driving sales, and improving customer service and satisfaction. Such integration might have the ability to analyze information from connected devices and fix issues remotely. It has been found that by 2020, about 12.86 billion installed bases of IoT will be in use in the consumer segment.
  2. Increase of mobile CRM:  Data says that the use of mobile CRM increases the productivity of employees by 15%. With more than 91% of companies with 10 or more employees using a CRM system, it is important that it is accessible to the requisite people over various devices and platforms. Mobile CRM adds the element of dynamic access and it will be a great advantage for sales reps in the field. It has been seen that 48% of users access CRM through their smartphones and 45% access through their tablets.
  3. AI-powered CRM: It is estimated that by 2021, an additional $394 Billion in revenue will be gained from AI adoption in CRM activities, alone in the United States. AI integrated CRM will be the trend in 2019. Over text and facial recognition, voice recognition will be prevalent. This will enable people to access CRM information using voice commands from any device, anytime, anywhere. For example, Salesforce’s Einstein enables organizations to access simple to complex information using voice commands.
  4. Hyper- individualization: According to a study, by 2020, customer experience will become the key brand differentiator  over the price of the product. So, companies are looking for ways to provide customers an enriched and hyper-individualized experience. Hyper-individualization is an experience of delivering service to customers which makes them feel valued and appreciated because you understand their needs and requirements. A report by Accenture states that around 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer if they are recognized, are offered relevant recommendations and remember their purchase history.

CRM Implementation needs detailed planning and execution based on company requirements, market research and individual needs. The budget is also one of the major factors that affect CRM Implementation. The social CRM market is expected to reach 10 billion in 2019. So, if you have already deployed a CRM system, make sure you use optimally. And, if you ate planning to put a new CRM system in place, consider the above CRM implementation guidelines in mind and implement a system that will be a boon for your business rather than a burden.

For more informative and interesting content of digital marketing and other social media trends, visit our blog. For a better insight on different services provided by us, take a quick look at our Resources.

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9 Data-Driven Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore

9 Data-Driven Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore

Over the past decade, there has been a massive disruption to the way we do business. Some of these changes have rendered many traditional practices inferior, or dare we say it, extinct. However, one enduring aspect has grown steadily in the background, to the point, it is now a critical aspect of business all over the globe, in virtually every industry. We’re talking about data-driven marketing.

‘Big Data’ was the buzzword several years ago, but unlike many other phrases, data didn’t simply fade away again. It has become an unstoppable, undeniable force that wields phenomenal power in the hands of astute, innovative marketers. Indeed, data has transformed the role of marketers.

Data is the new oil, and it’s going nowhere. In this article, we’ll explore important data analytics trends no company should ignore. It’s time you got involved with data-driven marketing before your business gets left in the stone age.

Image Credit: Brian Solis

Why Data-Driven Marketing is so Important in the Digital Age

Data-driven marketing is all about collecting information on your customers, then using that information to guide your marketing efforts. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

In theory, it is. However, the practical element involves some sophisticated software and savvy people to maximize the real potential of the data analysis.

So, why should you bother?

Here are a few reasons to use data-driven marketing:

Data-Driven Marketing Helps Your Brand Reach the Right People

Not everyone who receives your message will jump at the chance to buy your product. Unless you’re selling the Elixir of Life or a time machine, you should lower your expectations. Studies show the average conversion rate for a sales landing page is around 2%.

Data helps you tailor your brand messaging so it is more relevant for the audience who see it. That way, you can hope to convert more people.

It’s Easier to Monitor Performance with Data

By using consumer data, you can deduce insights on a range of behaviors and interests. Then, you can make measured adjustments to your strategy and gauge the impact.

One potential caveat here is that you need to be sure you are working with high-quality data. More than 50% of companies fear poor-quality data is hindering their efforts in data-driven marketing.

Connect with Customers on the Channels they Use

Reaching the right people is a good start, but it is quite another thing to connect with people on the right channel. Today, people use multiple mediums to go online, with the average shopper using six channels during the customer journey.

Data-driven marketing enables companies to present a unified brand message that engages prospects on multiple digital touchpoints. Therefore, you will be ready to respond and serve customers when they’re ready, on the channel they prefer.

9 Data Analytics Trends Marketers Should Embrace

An extensive study by Invespcro reflects the stunning growth of data, and its importance in modern marketing:

  • 64% of executives agree data-driven marketing is vital in the current economy.
  • 88% of marketers use data from third-parties to learn more about their customers.

It’s clear that data-driven marketing is here to stay. The challenge that many small businesses face is getting started. You can’t stick your head in the sand and hope for it to go away – it’s time to get on board.

Let’s take a look at the most recent data analytics trends, and consider how you can leverage them to take your business to the next level.

9 Data-Driven Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore 7

Image Credit: With Love, Delaney

1.     Data Paves the Way for a Personalized User Experience

If you’ve ever used Amazon (who hasn’t?) then you’ll be familiar with personalized product recommendations. They just pop up when you log-in, and before you know it, you’re tumbling down the rabbit hole of the world’s greatest online retail experience.

Amazon claim as much as 35% of its revenue comes from this type of personalization, and it’s easy to see why it works. People want brands to care about them, and the evidence suggests personalized marketing gets people to spend more.

It’s all possible because of data. When people accept cookies on a site like Amazon, they permit the company to track their behavior, which allows them to gather information on site visitors. For example, you can discover the following about your site visitors:

  • Age, gender, location
  • Pages viewed
  • Categories viewed
  • Time spent looking at specific product pages

Once enough data has been gathered, your company can serve up the shocking pink unicorn clothes that a certain 17-year-old American woman has displayed interest in.

Whomever your target demographic is, it’s possible to use data-driven marketing to create a personalized user experience that caters to the very specific needs and interests of each user. The more data you collect, the deeper you can go, segmenting your audience into defined niche groups.

The deeper and more personalized a “rabbit hole” you create, the more attractive your brand will become to people who land on your website.

9 Data-Driven Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore 8

Image Credit: Pexels

2.     Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Are Ever-Evolving

By now, you’ve surely heard that the robots are coming. Actually, scratch that – they’re already here. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are no longer fantasy elements of a geeky kid’s pipedream.

Digital giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook have been harnessing data insights for years. Through the use of AI and machine learning, they are able to enhance their products and services.

However, the real power of AI has become apparent since digital disruptors like Netflix and Uber have taken over their industries.

  • Netflix uses machine learning to improve their service. This has helped them save over $1 billion.
  • Uber use AI to figure out if people are traveling for work or pleasure. This could help people save money for work travel.

As these technologies advance, marketers can leverage data to continually improve their products and services, ultimately offering a customer experience that keeps getting better.

9 Data-Driven Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore 9

Image Credit: Targeto

3.     The Growth of Data Onboarding for Targeted Ad Campaigns

One of the most under-the-radar data analytics trends is data onboarding. This is when you take offline data about your customers and transfer it to an online environment. Once you do that, you can analyze it and put it to good use for your marketing needs.

You can use data onboarding to connect offline records with online users, effectively finding people online and leveraging the offline data you have gathered to hone your marketing. This enables you to create very targeted ads, facilitating a memorable 1:1 experience for people.

This strategy goes hand-in-hand with omnichannel marketing, helping companies personalize their marketing to connect with people on multiple different devices.

9 Data-Driven Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore 10

Image Credit: Maven Wave

4.     Omnichannel Marketing is Omnipresent

Speaking of omnichannel marketing, it’s everywhere now.

Gone are the days when marketers focus solely on one channel. Now, you must recognize that people use multiple devices, websites, mediums and methods for searching and shopping.

Omnichannel marketing is all about creating a seamless experience that unites all these channels. That way, your brand will establish a strong presence everywhere your audience is, both online and offline.

UK fashion retailer Oasis have successfully merged their online and offline channels to simplify the shopping experience. People can come into the shop and talk to sales associates who have iPads, which are shopping portals and mobile point-of-sale systems.

This enables:

  • Up-to-date product information and quick answers.
  • Instant online orders for home delivery when an item is out-of-stock.
  • The ability to checkout from anywhere in the store!

You can use data-driven marketing for an omnichannel approach by tapping into the customer data on a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform like EngageBay. This method allows you to bring all data together from different channels, so you know how everything correlates and works in tandem.

9 Data-Driven Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore 11

Image Credit: FICO

5.     Identity Resolution on Data Gives You the Big Picture

If omnichannel marketing is going to be successful, you must be able to recognize the identities on each channel. You can do that by using Identity Resolution, which helps you look at each channel and attain a clear perspective on the people, their interests, the apps they use, and their engagement levels.

This involves data, of course. You must collate a lot of data points, and then analyze everything in respect to its specific channel, and also in relation to the other channels.

Put simply:

Identity resolution gives you a holistic, 360-degree look at all of your customers.

When you have that, you can increase the accuracy of your targeting, improve your marketing analysis, and offer personalized marketing at scale.

9 Data-Driven Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore 12

Image Credit: SnapApp

6.     Data Wrangling Improves to Break Down Silos

There is a strong case to suggest alignment between sales and marketing departments can lead to higher sales and better customer retention rates.

In order to use data analytics properly, your organization must be prepared to share information across all touchpoints. The customer journey isn’t all about the marketers.

Your sales, marketing, and customer service teams should work in unison, helping each other connect the dots to offer a more cohesive, free-flowing customer journey. The rise of data-driven marketing is a catalyst for this unified approach…for the companies who are forward-thinking enough to do it!

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Image Credit: Drift

7.     Account-Based Marketing will change with Predictive Analytics

Account-based Marketing (ABM) embraces the idea of breaking down silos, encouraging the two key departments to come together and narrow their focus to the accounts that best match your company’s vision of an ideal customer.

So, how can data help?

Among the many data trends is something called predictive analytics. This is when marketers bring machine learning techniques together with statistical algorithms to make predictions based on past data.

When you do this right, you can discover prospects that fit your ideal customer profile. B2B companies can use predictive analytics to identify companies they should target, learning about their revenue, funding, employees, and purchasing habits to see if they fit the buyer persona they want.

Better yet, you can use predictive analysis to determine which companies and customers are most likely to purchase your products and services. Ultimately, this allows you to switch focus to accounts that show the greatest potential for a solid return on investment (ROI).

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Image Credit: Varonis

8.     Data Integrity is On the Rise

Remember how we mentioned data quality before?

This is more than an afterthought now. As data-driven marketing has soared in popularity, the need for accurate, clean data has also surged.

Poor-quality data can skew your data analysis, misled your team, and cause some pretty disastrous decisions. Ardem reports that the problem of poor data quality costs businesses almost $10 million per year.

On the one hand, data gives companies the chance to forge stronger relationships with people, spreading brand awareness and improving your reputation. But if the data isn’t high-quality, it may do more harm than good.

You should ensure you use reputable sources to mine your data and perform regular analysis and cleaning to keep everything current and accurate.

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Image Credit: Unsplash

9.     Digital Marketing is All About Apps

In 2019, a typical marketing campaign entails a company reaching out to people in a variety of ways, including:

  • Social media posts
  • Television commercials
  • Google Ads
  • Billboards
  • Magazines/Newspapers

We’ve already touched on how this fragmented media landscape can be pulled together through omnichannel marketing. One of the most effective ways to reach your audience through all the noise is by using apps.

A study by Lvivity found that the average smartphone user spends around three hours daily interacting with mobile apps, and there are over 1.2 billion people with smartphones…

It seems fairly logical then to invest your efforts in trying to engage this incredibly vast market of mobile users. The data you can collect from app users offers you a great opportunity in terms of marketing and advertising.

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Image Credit: Starhub

Data-Driven Marketing is For Everyone

Smartphones and apps, personalization and automation, AI and machine learning…

Between buzzwords and technology trends, the digital landscape doesn’t sit still for long. You can be sure that it will continue to shift at a breakneck speed in the years ahead. That means companies must remain agile and open to strategies like omnichannel marketing and segmentation if they are to stay afloat. All of these aspects come back to data. It is the key to getting the most out of modern marketing.

We live in a customer-centric age. The better you know your customers, the more chance you stand of delivering on their needs. Data gives marketers the valuable insights they need to understand consumer behavior.

When you use data-driven marketing, you can maximize the potential of these innovative practices and processes like AI, automation, personalization, and omnichannel marketing. Then you can reach users on their phones, through their apps, wherever they are.

It’s what every company needs. More importantly, it’s what every customer wants.

The post 9 Data-Driven Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore appeared first on EngageBay – All-in-one marketing and sales software for growing businesses.

14 Customer Service Tools to Boost Customer Satisfaction

14 Customer Service Tools to Boost Customer Satisfaction

The customer is king. People in business have been saying it for decades, insisting sterling customer service is the bedrock to success. While a lot has changed over the years, the old adage is as true in the digital era as it was in the last century. Customer satisfaction is integral to the reputation and longevity of your business.

It’s an easy concept to grasp. People can walk away from an interaction with your brand with a smile on their face, ready to tell others about their great experience. Alternatively, you can leave people with a bad feeling, ready to tell everyone about the nightmare they had dealing with your brand.

Bad news spreads quicker than good news. It today’s world, social proof matters, so it’s worth your time to make customer satisfaction a top priority.

In this article, we’ll look at the best customer service tools that your business can use to forge stronger relationships with people. By the end, you’ll not only understand the value of good customer service, but you’ll know what it takes to make your customers happy.

14 Tools to Boost Customer Satisfaction

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO, Amazon

Jeff Bezos may preach about the great potential of word-of-mouth marketing, but that alone is not what made him the world’s richest person.

Unlike the guys in Mad Men, the CEOs and marketers of today have a diverse arsenal of specialized tools and tech to help them deliver the best possible customer service.

Here are 14 customer service tools that can help bring you and your customers closer together.

Image Credit: Pexels

1.     Shared Team Inbox

Even with all the apps and various channels for communication available today, email remains a stalwart of modern business. However, large teams continue to struggle with organization problems, with emails often falling through the cracks, leaving customers hanging around for help.

One method of preventing this is to set up a team inbox. With all complaints and queries landing in one place, your team can combine forces to ensure every customer is looked after.

There are some concerns that too many chefs can spoil the broth, with the chance that several people may respond to the same email a distinct possibility. However, the pros of a shared inbox largely outweigh the cons.

Swiss Non-Profit Organization PIECES found a way to use Slack to streamline their team inbox and ensure nobody was left behind. Once you get up and running, your team will be able to align your marketing, sales, and customer service teams to offer a better customer experience.

2.     SaaS Call Center

It may be 2019, but there are still a lot of consumers who are hesitant to make purchases online. Some people are more comfortable when they talk to an actual human first.

This is where a call center comes in. By having people ready to answer the many questions prospective customers have, you can alleviate fears and instill the trust needed for purchase to happen.

And here’s the thing most people don’t realize:

You don’t need a huge department full of people at desks answering phones all day. Nor do you need to outsource the job to a company on another continent.

Why not?

Because of the cloud.

Software as a Service (SaaS) makes it easy for your business to shift call solutions, analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) to the cloud.

Studies indicate that more than 70% of companies believe all their apps will be SaaS by the year 2020, meaning more businesses will turn to a platform like EngageBay to take their business to the next level.

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Image Credit: EngageBay

3.     Help Ticket System

A few years ago, you may have encountered a frustrating problem that goes a little like this:

  • You have an issue with a product or service, so you contact the company. You explain the situation to one person, who then transfers you to another.
  • The next person knows nothing about the issue, so you have to explain everything again.
  • The problem is not resolved at first, so you must contact them again in a few hours, or perhaps the next day.
  • You call back and have to explain the whole situation again.

This scenario walks a tightrope between mildly frustrating and extremely infuriating. Either way, it doesn’t do much for customer satisfaction levels at your business.

Thankfully, there’s a simple solution.

By using a help ticket system, customers can get a quicker answer to their problem. Better yet, if there are a few steps and personnel involving in the road to resolution, the help ticket helps people track the issue along the way.

Customers stay up-to-date with notifications about the progress, and your employees stay on-point, ensuring there is no confusion about the matter.

4.     Live Chat

One of the best customer service tools available today is live chat. It doesn’t matter what your industry is, or who your customers are, a live chat system can set you apart from your rivals when it comes to customer satisfaction.

People want quick solutions. Offering a reply within 24 hours is not going to cut it any longer. Live chat customer service saves your company time and money, and moreover, it is convenient for the customer, allowing them to multitask while they get on-the-spot solutions within an instant.

In case you have any doubts about the benefits of live chat, just consider the numbers:

Guyana-based retail support call center GTT used live chat to reach higher levels of customer satisfaction, and they did it without having to hire a larger team.

5.     Mobile Apps

Businesses all over the planet want to find more effective ways to connect with their audiences. This has given rise to cross-channel marketing, where brands reach out to people on multiple mediums. One of the best channels to exploit is through the use of a mobile app.

As much as 80% of consumers use their smartphones to do shopping, sometimes while they are within a physical store! This is a massive part of the customer journey, and a dedicated app is a great way to streamline the experience.

Not only will this offer people a better user experience, but mobile apps also help to keep your brand top-of-mind when people are considering purchasing products from your industry. Therefore, apps are good for customer satisfaction and brand awareness – it’s win-win!

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Image Credit: AccEngage

6.     Push Notifications

If you go down the mobile app route, you may as well go all the way. Email sign-up boxes aren’t as compelling as they used to be, which has paved the way for push notifications.

Whereas email sign-up requires time and effort, not to mention handing over personal information, push notifications are a simple one-click subscription to a company’s news feed.

It’s easy for customers, and great for companies, as they can build a following in a quick and easy way. Once you have the list, it’s possible to tailor personalized push messages based on the data you collect through the app.

French fashion company La Redoute used this tool to conquer their abandoned cart problem, boosting customer engagement with personalized messages that encouraged people to return and complete their purchases.

7.     Instant Messaging

Live chat may be the go-to for many companies now, but customer service on instant messaging isn’t a bad alternative. In some cases, it’s an option that many customers prefer.

They still get the experience of a one-to-one conversation, but there is no need to hang around waiting for a response.

Many companies are already advertising on apps like Messenger or WhatsApp, so customer service is a natural progression. People can send messages and go about their day, replying in kind whenever a company responds, whether it be in 30 seconds, an hour, or the next day.

This offers customers a flexible way of resolving less-pressing problems, removing the need for expediency. For smaller teams with limited resources, this is a solid middle ground between live chat and email services.

If you want to step it up a gear, you could use an AI chatbot for instant messaging customer service. It’s a big leap, but as machine learning gets smarter over time, it could deliver a great return on investment (ROI) for you, and boost customer satisfaction at the same time.

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Image Credit: KLM

8.     Social Media

To say social media is a crowded playing field nowadays is a massive understatement. While the competition deters many from even trying, the reality is trying is better than sitting on the sidelines.

If your company’s social media profile is a digital ghost town, it’s akin to building an empty store in the middle of the jungle. Nobody is coming, and if they do stumble across it, they probably won’t stay around to look at the empty shelves.

Brands need to be active on social media. It is more than slapping up your logo and a few posts about a big sale. You can use these platforms to forge relationships with people, boosting your brand awareness, listening to the issues consumers have, and nurturing trust with prospects.

All of this can help you finetune your existing marketing and sales strategies. When the time comes, your brand will be one people go to as they know and trust you because of the reputation you cultivated on social media.

About 70% of customers engage brands on social media for customer service reasons. This doesn’t cost your company much in terms of time, money or effort. By comparison, the ROI is significant.

Dutch airline KLM created a social media hub to attract millennial customers. They integrated instant messaging apps too, and the move helped them earn the reputation of being a ‘social media airline’.

9.     Email Automation

When we think of the most useful customer service tools, marketing automation is near the top. Specifically, we can consider email automation.

The union of email and AI was a real gamechanger when it came to the fore a few years ago. Marketers rejoiced at the ability to send targeted, personalized emails to small segments of their wider audience.

Nowadays, it is the only way to do email marketing. You can create emails in advance, then automate them to send upon specific triggers.

For example, when someone:

  • Subscribes to your newsletter
  • Downloads an eBook
  • Leaves an abandoned cart
  • Makes a purchase

When you have behavioral-triggered emails ready to go, your company can offer a personalized customer experience that people remember and respect.

For example, the popular American shoe company, Zappos utilizes triggered emails to quell any fears customers have after placing an order online. They send a quirky automated email that confirms the order and lets the customer know when to expect delivery.

Research from SendPulse suggests that these type of emails increase clickthrough-rate (CTR) almost four-fold compared to traditional, generic emails.

EngageBay users can set up ‘canned responses’, which facilitate smoother, faster customer service communications in a similar way to triggered emails.

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Image Credit: ScnSoft

10. Customer Portal

Sometimes, people just want to take care of their own business! If your company provides a customer portal, then your customers can do just that.

By offering a dedicated system within your website, customers have the freedom to access their own personal data for a host of reasons:

  • View purchase history
  • Save favorite items
  • Track orders
  • Seek personalized assistance

This service is great for customer satisfaction, as they can solve issues on their own schedule, whenever is convenient. They also have the independence and autonomy to review various orders, invoices, documents, and financial matters.

With EngageBay, your business will have a platform to monitor ongoing deals with customers. This ‘visual deal pipeline’ allows you to track the progress of customer relationships and transactions in real-time.

11. Self-Service Knowledge Base

Another spin on the customer portal is a self-service page or even a standalone website that acts as a knowledge base for your customers to peruse at their leisure.

This is the era of “Googling It”, and people are always likely to search for solutions themselves before asking for help from another person or company.

If you publish an extensive content hub that acts as a self-service help desk, two things will happen:

  • Customer satisfaction will increase as people find answers to common issues.
  • Your customer service costs will be reduced as there is less need to deal with common issues and recurring problems.

UK tech company Dyson is most famous for its range of vacuum cleaners and hair dryers. Its knowledge base is customized depending on the user’s country, which offers an easy and enjoyable user experience.

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Image Credit: eConsultancy

12. Online Communities

A study from the Aberdeen Group asserted that 85% of online communities use a formal strategy to nurture customer relationships, with the goal of creating loyal brand advocates.

Such a strategy is self-perpetuating, as your entire focus is about customer satisfaction. By focusing intently on providing the best possible customer service, you encourage more people to talk about their great experience. This, in turn, encourages more people to engage with your brand.

And so the cycle continues…

Nowadays, your brand can build a community on your website, on social media, or around your blog by creating a forum or exclusive membership suite that encourages discussion and interaction on interesting and important topics.

Harley-Davidson attracted over 1 million global members to the Harley Owners Group, fostering a close-knit community of like-minded spirits around their products.

13. Customer Satisfaction Surveys

By the year 2020, Walker Consulting believes the customer experience will be what sets brands apart from their competition. That’s just a year away, and yet so many businesses have no idea what their customers are thinking.

Knowing your audience is a critical part of success. If you haven’t figured it out yet, maybe it’s time you asked. Sending out a customer satisfaction survey to gauge people’s thoughts and feelings about your service can reveal some valuable insights. People tend to be more honest in these surveys compared to in-person.

Marketing guru, Neil Patel states that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for better customer experience. Surely then, your company should be willing to invest a little to find out exactly what it is that will make your customers’ experience better?

Hilton Hotels are highly active with surveys and data, and they are reaping the rewards of their efforts. Their surveys get a high response rate of 30%, helping them understand their customers better, and offer an enhanced service in return.

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Image Credit: Zapier

14. Integrations

The best CRM platform can give your business a unified platform that brings all the key departments together. This does wonders for customer experience. However, even the best all-in-one platform has boundaries.

That being said, we live in a world where the best tech and customer service tools can easily be integrated with one another. Consumers love devices that are able to transmit data to other devices.

EngageBay’s partnership with Zapier makes it possible for your business to hook up your customer service platform with over 1400 apps. For example, you can integrate:

  • Google Docs
  • Gmail
  • Mailchimp
  • Slack
  • Shopify
  • Asana
  • Instagram

And many, many more!

As people get overwhelmed with apps and options in a mobile-mad world, it’s the companies that can offer a seamless, interconnected experience that will rise to the top.

Great Customer Service Breeds Trust and Loyalty

The way we do business may be evolving as the world becomes more obsessed with technology and data. However, the concept of great customer service remains largely unchanged.

It’s all about delivering a memorable, personable experience. You can accomplish that by experimenting with the customer service tools in this article. When your brand does it right, you will foster trust with more people. They will soon become loyal to your brand, returning to engage with you, again and again.

Better yet, they will become brand advocates who tell others about the fantastic customer experience you offer. As customer satisfaction and brand awareness flourish, your business will become a respected brand across the globe.

Unite your marketing, sales, and customer service teams today with EngageBay to deliver a better customer experience soon.

The post 14 Customer Service Tools to Boost Customer Satisfaction appeared first on EngageBay – All-in-one marketing and sales software for growing businesses.